Levy Pooe – Cassirer Welz Award

1 DEC 2020 - 19 FEB 2021

The Bag Factory and Strauss Education are delighted to announce Levy Pooe as the winner of the tenth edition of the Cassirer Welz Award!

The Cassirer Welz Award, named after South African auctioneers Reinhold Cassirer and Stephan Welz, is an annual award presented by the Bag Factory in partnership with Strauss & Co to a South African-based visual artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing, or sculpture. Only artists under the age of 35 and not represented by a commercial gallery are eligible.

The selection jury, comprised of Bag Factory director Candice Allison, artist Phumulani Ntuli, Strauss& Co, Executive Director Susie Goodman, and Senior Art Specialist Wilhelm van Rensburg, unanimously agreed that Pooe is an exceptional painter who will benefit from an opportunity for substantial creative and professional growth. As the winner of the 2020 Cassirer Welz Award, Pooe receives an intensive ten-week residency at the Bag Factory from 1 December 2020 – 19 February 2020 and R 25,000 towards the artist’s residency stipend, materials, and production costs. The residency culminates in a solo exhibition of newly created work at the Bag Factory opening on 6 February 2020.

Founded in 2011 in partnership with Nadine Gordimer, Strauss &Co pledged to support the award after her passing in 2014. Through this long-term partnership with Strauss &Co, the Cassirer Welz Award has helped the winners launch their careers and make a name for themselves within the South African art market. As the award reaches its ten-year milestone, Strauss &Co have confirmed their commitment to supporting the award during this time of unprecedented uncertainty in the midst of a global pandemic. Now more than ever, Strauss & Co. recognises the importance of continuing the legacy of this prestigious development award for emerging artists in South Africa.

Levy Pooe (b. 1994) is a seTswana speaking South African visual artist born in Rustenburg during the country's transition to democracy. He is currently based in Johannesburg. Working in a range of mediums from painting, charcoal, collage as well as photography, Pooe is passionate about telling stories and creating narratives that speak to the urban black experience. He mostly works from his home studio, produces murals, and creates live interpretations of musical performances. Pooe studied towards a BAFA at University of the Witwatersrand (incomplete), after which he attended the Market Photo Workshop.

Click on the image below to view the virtual exhibition.